The facts are astonishing: recent research conducted by the Annals of Family Medicine unveiled that a typical primary care physician has a “panel” of as many as 2,000 patients – those who are currently under their care. Moreover, the research noted that such a medical professional would have to “spend 21.7 hours per day to provide all recommended acute, chronic and preventive care for a panel of 2,500 patients.”
It’s no wonder then that we as patients, as well as the physicians themselves, are feeling so hurried and stressed. With the need for so many elderly medical appointments, treatments, and procedures associated with the many typical chronic diseases and effects of aging, it’s important that we all take steps to make the most of the time we have with our physicians.
In our last blog post, we provided some important information and questions to put together beforehand for senior doctors’ appointments. To go a step further, following you’ll find a helpful checklist with questions specific to two of the most prevalent senior medical issues: medications and hospitalizations.
Questions to Ask Pertaining to Medications
- Will insurance (or Medicare) cover the charge of this prescription?
- Is there a generic form of the prescription available?
- What side effects might I expect to encounter?
- How will I know if the medicine is effective?
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose of the medication?
- Are there any other medications or foods I should avoid while taking this drug?
- Should I abstain from drinking alcohol?
- How long will I need to take the medication?
Questions to Ask About Hospitalizations/Surgeries
- When should I check in to the hospital?
- What can I expect prior to the surgery or procedure?
- How long will the procedure take?
- Where will my loved ones wait for me during the procedure?
- What effects might occur from the procedure, both short- and long-term?
- What medications will I need to take?
- How long will my recovery period take?
- What restrictions will I have following the procedure?
Think about any additional questions you may have associated with the senior’s particular needs, and add them to the list ahead of their medical appointment or procedure. A little bit of pre-planning can go a long way in helping the individual feel more in control and calm about the procedure they are facing.
For more help in preparing for elderly healthcare appointments and procedures, and with maximizing time with the physician, contact the top home health aide in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas at Harmony Home Health Care & Hospice. Visit our Service Area page for a full list of the communities in which we provide care.